After 14 months without football matches, NUFC fans can finally find each other.
It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed Premier League clubs will be allowed to have supporters present for the last two games of the season.
This means plans for Newcastle United fans to return for the game with Sheffield United on Wednesday have been given the green light.
Whether it’s drinking a pint with friends or feeling a sense of belonging to the city’s biggest family, football is more than a sport for the region, it’s a way of life.
And now fans have a glimmer of hope that normalcy will finally return.
NUFC fan Thomas Concannon can’t wait to get back with his community and has a ticket to the Sheffield United game.
The Newcastle United Supporters Trust vice-chairman said: “I am relieved. 14 months without something that is a big part of my life, not having it for so long has been difficult.
“I didn’t think anyone foresaw how long this was going to last, so it’s with double anticipation and excitement to come back outside of the quality of football. It’s just to meet friends and go home.
“It’s an amazing thing to be a part of, it’s stressful, but we have the best fans in the country.
“I made so many friends with football. My two best friends that I have met through Newcastle United. It opens doors, meeting amazing people and coming face to face with people means a lot to a lot of people.
“You can see the light at the end of the tunnel, it will be also strange I guess, because it’s been so long that nobody knows what to expect in life now.”
NUFC fan Neil Mcevoy has been going to matches since the age of eight.
Every year for the past 44 years, Neil has attended match day flawlessly and couldn’t live up to his passion last year.
From game days with the guys to now with his family, he can’t wait to get back on the pitch.
The 52-year-old said: “I can’t wait, it would be much better if it was a full stadium, but just being able to review your social circles, meet people you wouldn’t normally meet outside of the game. .
“I missed it. watching it at home is not the same. Although the way the team is run is disappointing with a lack of communication eager to go back.
“Sport is now part of life in general. Newcastle brings together all generations from all communities. It’s this centralization of fan interest that attracts us all and gets everyone talking.
“To be honest when the fields are full, 50,000 people are all the managers, all the players and all the presidents. The game generates so much interest that it opens up conversations and discussions with anyone ”
From a young age, football has always been an important part of Connor Ellis’ life.
Growing up, Connor enjoyed watching games with his father, Paul, and was fortunate enough to play at St James’ Park when he was 14.
The 26-year-old fan said: “It’s not just football, it’s a culture here. When you are at a game there is a feeling of family and belonging as well as being a part of something much bigger.
“There is a unique sense of pride for your team and your city every time you wear or see black and white.
“It’s great to be able to come back and play with the guys and have some beers. 14 months is too long. “
While that kick starts off towards a sense of freedom, many fans are unimpressed with the team’s recent performances.
Nick Jarvis-Smith, 25, said: “I think it’s a step towards freedom to be honest, I’m not really looking forward to coming back to Newcastle on the minute, unfortunately.
“The team isn’t very exciting, but that doesn’t necessarily mean people aren’t excited to go to the game.
“The game isn’t just about soccer, I think – the social connections and the rituals of going to the same bars and everything to see your friends and family.
“A lot of people will be happy to go but just to really see their comrades. I always say never let football ruin a good football day because most of the time Newcastle are going to ruin it.
And it’s not just fans who get the chance to return to the stadium, the relaxed restrictions are a lifeline for the NUFC food bank.
The NUFC Food Bank, which works with Newcastle West End Foodbank with support from the NUFC, relies on fans to donate food on match days.
Now the …
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This notice was published: 2021-05-16 05:00:00